FPGAs provide a platform for embedded designs to achieve impressive performance with minimal resources by targeting specific applications. This platform is especially desirable for embedded cryptography applications, which are increasingly needed in resource constrained embedded devices. In this work, tests were performed on the Xilinx MicroBlaze soft-core processor in order to accelerate the Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) algorithm and determine the platform’s success under metrics such as power, performance, and logic utilization. Each of these tests enabled hardware features on the processor commonly used in embedded applications in order to determine the ideal configuration for RSA applications. Minimum area, high performance, maximum frequency, and frequency optimized implementations were produced in order to survey tradeoffs that exist within these various configurations. The result of these tests indicate that targeted hardware has the ability to achieve multi-fold performance improvements compared to hardware not optimized around the RSA algorithm.